This is a common question that’s often debated in households with a drain and cockroach infestation. Can cockroaches swim through drains? Do cockroaches even travel through drains? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you’d probably like it to be. Cockroaches are soft-bodied insects with no legs, but many do have wings for flying and antennae for sensing air flow. However, can cockroaches get through drains? Can they swim up drains? There are several factors involved in answering these questions and understanding cockroach behavior and survival will help you determine what might happen to your cockroaches once inside of a drain. We all know that roaches generally aren’t fond of water or going into drains, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that some roaches won’t find their way through a drain trap. There are numerous species (at least 4000) of cockroaches which can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. However, there are only about 30 different species in North America and the most common species often found is the German cockroach. Monitoring cockroach activity is important to prevent infestations from taking hold as well as trying to eliminate any current infestation if it’s a current problem. How to prevent roaches traveling through drains If you notice large numbers of roaches coming up from drains then it’s usually safe to say that there is something preventing them from crawling back down — they are utilizing the drain as a short cut to travel around your house or apartment block. It isn’t uncommon for one roach to enter a drain and his friends to follow quickly behind him. Do cockroaches travel through a drain? Yes. Cockroaches can travel through common household drains. They can swim against the flow of water at an average speed of 1 inch per second. If a cockroach is dropped into a tub of water it will swim towards the nearest corner as that provides shelter from the currents in the tub. Cockroaches also prefer to regulate their body temperature by seeking out cool, dark places, but they also need access to warm, dry locations where they can emerge during warmer seasons.
Can Cockroaches Swim Up Drains
What’s at Stake
About that last point: cockroaches are gross. Don’t leave them to run amok in your home, because they can make you sick and contaminate your food, triggering asthma and allergies. If you already have cockroaches in your home, it’s time to call a pest control professional.
Physical Limitations of Cockroaches
Not all cockroaches are able to swim, but of those that can, there are some interesting differences in the way they do it. German cockroaches and Madagascar hissing cockroaches can both swim well, but for different reasons: German roaches have long hair that holds air bubbles against their bodies and creates a sort of waterproof seal, while Madagascar hissing roaches have padded feet that allow them to walk along the surface of water. American cockroaches have gills on their legs and can hold their breath for 40 minutes underwater.
Cockroaches that live primarily above ground are more likely to be able to swim than those who live below ground or in trees, where water can cause rotting or drowning. For example, most tree-dwelling roach species cannot tolerate swimming and will die if they fall into the water; they avoid swimming by selecting habitats with little risk of flooding or storm damage.
Simple Ways to Keep Water Away From Roaches
- Clean up messes as soon as you can.
- Fix leaks quickly.
- Be careful with your mop, especially if its head is removable.
- Keep drains clear to avoid giving roaches a place to hide.
More about Roaches
The vast majority of the cockroach species in the United States are considered to be domestic pests. Some of these roaches include:
- German cockroaches
- American cockroaches
- Brown-banded cockroaches
- Oriental cockroaches
There are other types of roaches that may appear in some parts of the U.S., particularly Florida, but these four make up most domestic infestations. Generally, these roaches can survive for up to one week without water and up to a month without food. However, they will become extremely thirsty and hungry within those time frames, causing them to enter homes in search of sustenance and hydration. Roach colonies average 30-40 individuals at any given time, but if left untreated can grow into much larger numbers due to female roaches laying between five and ten egg capsules with as many as 30 eggs a piece during their lifetime. It’s also important to note that roaches are omnivores that have been known to eat human waste, rotting food, human hair and skin cells (including fingernails), discarded shampoo bottles and even nonfood items like books or photographs if there is nothing else available nearby. The reason these creatures should be avoided at all costs is because they can spread salmonella or E Coli throughout your home by walking through bacteria-laden areas like trash bins or dirty dishes before scuttling across your counters or floors. Finally it’s important not leave any standing water lying around since even just four tablespoons’ worth provides enough moisture for an adult German Cockroach which is what we’ll focus on here since they’re so common
It’s important to keep your drains clean, but you don’t have to worry about cockroaches coming in through the drain.
You don’t have to worry about cockroaches entering your home through your drains. The myth that cockroaches can swim up drains is just that: a myth.
Why not? For one thing, the diameter of drains in modern plumbing is too small for cockroaches to fit through. In order to get up any drain at all, cockroaches would need to be particularly narrow—and they aren’t. Take a look at this diagram of the common American cockroach:
As you can see, even if this roach were turned sideways and stretched out as much as possible (which it wouldn’t), it would still be far too wide to fit up any kind of drain.
If you want to learn more about some other facts surrounding the common American cockroach, visit our article on [American Cockroach Facts](https://www.pestworldforkids.org/pest-guide/cockroaches/american-cockroach/)
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- Treatment rates for all uses: for heavy infestations of cockroaches, apply 3 to 5 spots of advice cockroach gel bait per 10 linear feet for light to moderate infestations of cockroaches, apply 1-3 spots of advice cockroach gel bait per 10 linear feet each spot of advice gel bait Should equal about. 5 grams (approx. 1/4″ Diameter)
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